Sunday, 29 July 2007

Final bids

On Thursday last, Concord,NH auctioneer, Richard Withington conducted his 2,458 and final auction. With only a few weeks to live, the 89 year old auctioned off the contents of his own home.

Sporting an eye patch and cane displaying the wit and good humour that have made him legendary in the antique world Withington sold 100 items.

Highest price was a rare wooden nightstand from his bedroom which made $32,000.

"I love these things, and I don't want to sell them," Withington said as he walked through his Hillsboro home this week. "But if I'm going to die in a few weeks, I won't miss them."

The self-made millionaire, who is renowned for his charity and his success, is suffering from brain cancer. Withington said doctors give him just weeks to live, although he claims they said the same thing in January - before he survived radiation treatment and 30 days in intensive care.

Withington's career began at age 12, when he started buying and selling antiques, helping an auctioneer for $2 a day He attributes his success to three things: "I'm honest, I never get mad and I know what the hell I'm doing."

In his prime, Withington could run an auction for 12 hours without a break.He has never stopped auctioneering.

On Thursday, he proved that even terminal illness couldn’t stop him from joking, reminiscing and exhorting buyers to bid higher. "As long as I can stand up, talk and have a mind, I'll keep doing it," he said.

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